Hello everyone!

I am new to CrimeSpace but not to reading and writing dark stories that often are “crime” related. For those who do not know me, which will be quite a few, there is one question I always ask of authors’. Now, I wish to ask this question to all of those who care to respond…

Throughout our lives there has been a single instant in which we have decided to do what it is we love to do. Perhaps when you were a kid you saw a portion of a movie you weren’t supposed to, read a book unlike any other. Maybe your dad was a cop, your mom a nurse or maybe something terrible happened to someone you knew…

What is that singular event, author, movie scene, etc. that has drawn you to write or read the types of things that has drawn your interest so profoundly as to be involved with this type of website at all? You may only pick one; I have drawn the question out on purpose. You already are thinking about answering!

Tell me?

This question, again, is open to all.

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One single thing? That's difficult. I was a huge fan of film noir--all the 1940's greats in particular. I suppose that was my motivation for then reading those novels that those wonderful films were based on. I've been writing crime fiction for the past year and I love it. My favorite novels are set in the past: 1930's to 1950's. If I could, I'd slip into a Raymond Chandler novel and be Phillip Marlowe's gal friday or his special confidante. I'd keep his appointments and always stay late at the office if he needed me!
I may be violating the rules, but hey this is a crime writers forum. I actually have two equally important inspirations. The first was my very last writing assignment in high school. I absolutely hated writing before that and by all rights a throw away assignment of "write an autobiography" should not have changed my opinion. On a whim, I examined my life by looking at the wheels involved at each stage, e.g. baby stroller, tricycle, pedal car, etc. It was by far the best piece I had written to that time, but the important thing was I had fun. It is very hard to hate something that is fun. Fast forward many years. The second inspiration came from one of those self-realization moments. In February I happened upon the Writers Digest online workshops. I read over the description of their "Essentials of Mystery Writing Workshop" and realized that I had wanted to write a mystery for over 30 years and that I needed to jump in and get started or I would never really do it. I signed up then completed the workshop. Last night I finished the first draft of my first short story. I hope I can sell it, but even if it never sells, I have written it.
I hope you do sell it by the way. You sounded inspired to me. I think it takes us a long time to really get down to serious writing. Curt, it took me half of my life! but now's the thing. NOW is relevant. THEN was.
When I moved to Virginia, I lived near a large wildlife refuge near the coast, called the Great Dismal Swamp. I quickly fell in love with the place and spent many hours hiking it's trails, discovering it's history, photographing it's wildlife and flora, and at times, get lost in it.

I knew there was a story here, and I wanted to tell it. After a couple of years of thinking and outlining, I wrote a mystery novel about it, called In the Dismal Swamp, my first novel.

That place has inspired me, and I still draw inspiration from it, although I now live in Kansas City, halfway across the country.
I read the Nancy Drew, Hardy Boy's books, but I was also strongly influenced by the popular media of my day, radio. There was, The Shadow, Bary Craig, Sam Spade, Casey Crime Photographer, The Falcon, Phillip Marlow, Richard Diamond, Dick Tracy and a whole slew of hard boiled heroes that I can't remember. I think the first writer that absolutely knocked my socks off was Max Shulman, a satirist from the middle of the last century. The first thing I read of his was BAREFOOT BOY WITH CHEEK.
Hi, another newbie too.
I can pinpoint where I turned to 'a life of crime', as it were. Up until 1999, I was writing weird fiction - slipstream, horror, SF tinged stuff, which had suited me well for the ten years or so that I'd been writing it. But I remember talking to a writer friend, who said that he thought I'd reached a bit of an impasse with my writing.
By coincidence I'd been by his place near this time and he'd lent me a copy of Derek Raymond's 'I Was Dora Suarez'.
Now, I'd read some crime prior to this as my dad has been a lifelong crime reader, but 'Dora Suarez' seemed to blow my mind wide open. This was crime fiction, but like nothing I'd ever read before in the genre. Grim, angry, violent, metapyhsical... All of these things and more. After that I devoured the rest of Raymond's excellent 'Factory' series and produced my first crime story, 'Leaving Seven Sisters', which I freely admit was greatly in debt to the late Mr Raymond.
And I've never looked back. Reading that book changed the style I wrote in. Or certainly opened up new vistas for me. So yeah, everyone should seek out 'I Was Dora Suarez'. It is phenomenal.

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